Category Archives: Information Technology, IP and Research in the Government World

Warning: Iranian Cyber Response Possible Against Government Contractors

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As a result of heightened tension between the United States and Iran, companies, especially those that do business with the Federal Government and with the Department of Defense in particular, would be well-advised to take immediate steps to confirm and strengthen their cybersecurity measures.  Read on for the post from our firm’s Privacy & Cybersecurity Blog discussing how regulators are warning of a possible rise in cyber-attacks. ... After Friday’s announcement of the killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani, a leader of Iran’s Quds Force, several regulators have put industry on [...]Read more

Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media: Enhanced FOIA Protection for Contractors’ “Confidential” Commercial or Financial Information

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For the last 55 years nearly all federal agencies and courts tasked with determining whether a contractor’s “commercial or financial” information is “confidential” for purposes of exemption from public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act have had to evaluate – among other things – whether disclosure of the information likely would cause substantial harm to the competitive position of the person from whom the information was obtained. In Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, 588 U.S. ___ (2019), the Supreme Court rejected this decades-long “competitive harm” [...]Read more

Jeniffer Roberts Quoted in Law360 Regarding Telecom Security Flaws

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Alston & Bird partner Jeniffer Roberts was quoted in Law360 on October 31, 2018 in the article, “Telecom Security Flaws Targeted With Bans, Compliance” The article takes a look at the telecom industry with a focus on cybersecurity threats on every level of communications networks.  It explains that uncertainly is rising over whether more aggressive rules may push smaller and new contractors to leave the telecom sector—which would have the effect of slowing overall network development.  Industry experts suggest that the telecom sector could see the most harm if the government imposes [...]Read more

The Federal Government Procurement Process Could Go Digital

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In order to keep up with online marketplaces available at the “one touch” of a smartphone, the federal government is doing its part to bring its procurement process into the digital age. Legislation passed earlier this year by the House of Representatives would allow the U.S. military and civilian government agencies to buy products directly from new online marketplaces instead of following the current procurement process for purchases above the “micro-purchase” threshold (i.e., a few thousand dollars). The newly proposed process would present many opportunities for online retailers and [...]Read more

Government Contractors May See Changes in Cybersecurity and IT Procurement

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On Monday, June 19, 2017, President Trump’s newly established American Technology Council met for the first time at the White House to begin discussions on modernizing government information technology (IT) systems. As President Trump reportedly stated during the meeting, “Our goal is to lead a sweeping transformation of the federal government’s technology that will deliver dramatically better services for citizens.… Government needs to catch up with the technology revolution.” Executives from companies such as Amazon, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Akamai, and Microsoft were in attendance. When [...]Read more

Jeff Belkin and Tony Balloon Quoted in The Wall Street Journal

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On February 29, Jeff Belkin and Tony Balloon were quoted in The Wall Street Journal explaining the Office of Management and Budget’s new mandate on electronic invoicing and how it will impact government contractors and raise additional cybersecurity concerns. “Any time you’re talking about moving money—particularly this volume—there’s going to be a significant level of scrutiny on compliance infrastructure and risk mitigation and fraud mitigation. There will be more scrutiny on what is already a highly regulated area of finance,” said Balloon. “It’s not clear if any financial [...]Read more

Jeff Belkin and Tony Balloon Quoted in General Counsel News on New OMB E-Voicing Mandate

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On February 18, Jeff Belkin and Tony Balloon were quoted in General Counsel News regarding a new mandate from the Office of Management and Budget requiring that all billing and invoicing from government contractors and federal agencies be electronic. They advise government contractors and payment service providers to prepare and implement clear, practical methods of e-payments based on the new mandate. To learn more about Belkin’s and Balloon’s comments, see “Federal Mandate on E-Voicing & Government Contract Compliance.” [...]Read more